I’ve seen some other bloggers posting a monthly feature of new releases they’re looking forward to in that month, so I figured I’d join in as I always feel like I’m hyped for something releasing!
So, here are some of the books releasing this December that I’m looking forward to picking up:
The Bitterwine Oath by Hannah West
December 1st // Holiday House // 320 pages
Every fifty years, a cult claims twelve men to murder in a small Texas town. Can one girl end the cycle of violence - and save the boy who broke her heart? San Solano, Texas is a quaint town known for its charm, hospitality, and history of murder. Twice now, twelve men have been brutally killed, and no one knows who did it. A shadowy witch? A copy-cat killer? Or a man-hating murderess? Eighteen-year-old Natalie Colter is sure that the rumors about her great-great-grandmother's cult of wronged women are just gossip, but that doesn't stop the true crime writers and dark tourism bloggers from capitalizing on the town's reputation. It's an urban legend that's hard to ignore, and it gets harder when Nat learns that the sisterhood is real, and magical. And they want her to join. The more Nat learns of the Wardens' supernatural history, the more she wonders about the real culprits behind the town's ritualistic murders. Are the Wardens protecting San Solano from even darker forces? As the anniversary of the murders draws near, the town grows restless. Residents start getting "claimed" as this year's planned victims, including Levi Langford, the boy whose kiss haunted Nat for a year. Nat knows that no one is safe. Can she and the sisterhood stop the true evil from claiming their town?
I mean… If you’ve read that synopsis, I really don’t need to say much to justify why I want to read this one. It sounds amazing. And also — that cover?? I’m obsessed.
A Curse of Roses by Diana Pinguicha
December 1st // Entangled: Teen // 352 pages
With just one touch, bread turns into roses. With just one bite, cheese turns into lilies. There’s a famine plaguing the land, and Princess Yzabel is wasting food simply by trying to eat. Before she can even swallow, her magic—her curse—has turned her meal into a bouquet. She’s on the verge of starving, which only reminds her that the people of Portugal have been enduring the same pain. If only it were possible to reverse her magic. Then she could turn flowers…into food. Fatyan, a beautiful Enchanted Moura, is the only one who can help. But she is trapped by magical binds. She can teach Yzabel how to control her curse—if Yzabel sets her free with a kiss. As the King of Portugal’s betrothed, Yzabel would be committing treason, but what good is a king if his country has starved to death? With just one kiss, Fatyan is set free. And with just one kiss, Yzabel is yearning for more. She’d sought out Fatyan to help her save the people. Now, loving her could mean Yzabel’s destruction. Based on Portuguese legend, this #OwnVoices historical fantasy is an epic tale of mystery, magic, and making the impossible choice between love and duty…
Another beautiful cover — and this story sounds like nothing I’ve read before, which is really exciting. Also always here for a dramatic, sapphic romance. I can’t wait to pick this one up!
What She Found in the Woods by Josephine Angelini
December 1st // Sourcebooks Fire // 384 pages
Running from a scandal at her New York private school, Magdalena heads to her family home to recover under the radar. Over-medicated and under-confident, she's fearful she'll never escape her past. Until she meets Bo out hiking. Wild, gorgeous and free, he makes her believe she might finally be able to move on. But when a mutilated body is discovered in the woods, Magdalena realises she can't trust anyone. Not even herself.
I’m so glad I started reading mysteries/thrillers this year, because, honestly, I even get excited reading the synopses, never mind the actual stories! This one sounds right up my street — and it was even more of a bonus when I realised that it was the same author who wrote some books I loved in my early 20s. (The Starcrossed series, if you’re curious!)
The Cousins by Karen M. McManus
December 1st // Delacorte Press // 336 pages
Milly, Aubrey, and Jonah Story are cousins, but they barely know each another, and they've never even met their grandmother. Rich and reclusive, she disinherited their parents before they were born. So when they each receive a letter inviting them to work at her island resort for the summer, they're surprised . . . and curious. Their parents are all clear on one point—not going is not an option. This could be the opportunity to get back into Grandmother's good graces. But when the cousins arrive on the island, it's immediately clear that she has different plans for them. And the longer they stay, the more they realize how mysterious—and dark—their family's past is. The entire Story family has secrets. Whatever pulled them apart years ago isn't over—and this summer, the cousins will learn everything.
Still on the mystery/thriller hype here, clearly… I wasn’t too keen on Karen M. McManus’ other novels, which was really disappointing as they’re really successful and are hyped a lot by the community. I’m really hoping to enjoy this one more than the other books I’ve read by this author.
Every Last Secret by A.R. Torre
December 1st // Thomas & Mercer // 389 pages
Welcome to the neighborhood. Watch your husband, watch your friends, and watch your back. Cat Winthorpe has worked hard to get what she has: a gorgeous home; social standing; and William, her successful, handsome husband. Then a friendly new couple moves into the estate next door. While cautious, a good neighbor like Cat greets them with open arms and warm hospitality. Neena Ryder isn’t a fellow lady of leisure. A life coach with off-the-rack dresses, personal issues, and a husband who hasn’t delivered, she’s anxious to move up in the world. This beautiful new town is a step in the right direction. It’s also making Neena aware of what she doesn’t have. Namely, William. When Neena’s infatuation escalates into obsession, it’s just a matter of eliminating a few obstacles to get the life she wants. The life next door. As Neena’s secret fixation grows, so does her friendship with Cat. But beneath their cordial interactions is a wealth of temptations, secrets, and toxic jealousy. For both women, the desire for a perfect life can turn perfectly dangerous.
I’m honestly shook by the amount of thrillers on this list. I don’t even know who I am anymore?? Anyway, I can’t say I’m too keen on the cover for this one, but the story sounds so good?? I’m really struggling for choice over which one of these to pick up first at this point.
Layla by Colleen Hoover
December 8th // Montlake // 301 pages
When Leeds meets Layla, he’s convinced he’ll spend the rest of his life with her—until an unexpected attack leaves Layla fighting for her life. After weeks in the hospital, Layla recovers physically, but the emotional and mental scarring has altered the woman Leeds fell in love with. In order to put their relationship back on track, Leeds whisks Layla away to the bed-and-breakfast where they first met. Once they arrive, Layla’s behavior takes a bizarre turn. And that’s just one of many inexplicable occurrences. Feeling distant from Layla, Leeds soon finds solace in Willow—another guest of the B&B with whom he forms a connection through their shared concerns. As his curiosity for Willow grows, his decision to help her find answers puts him in direct conflict with Layla’s well-being. Leeds soon realizes he has to make a choice because he can’t help both of them. But if he makes the wrong choice, it could be detrimental for all of them.
Colleen Hoover’s last book was a big disappointment for me. However, I absolutely loved her romantic thriller, Verity, and could barely tear myself away from it when I read it last year. I’m hoping this one is just as compelling, and makes up for how much I didn’t enjoy Heart Bones. No pressure…
The Notorious Virtues by Alwyn Hamilton
December 18th // Faber & Faber // 368 pages
At sixteen, Honora “Nora” Holtzfall is the daughter of the most powerful heiress in all of Walstad. Her family controls all the money–and all the magic–in the entire country. But despite being the center of attention, Nora has always felt like an outsider. When her mother is found dead in an alley, the family throne and fortune are suddenly up for grabs, and Nora will be pitted against her cousins in the Veritaz, the ultimate magical competition for power that determines the one family heir. But there’s a surprise contestant this time: Lotte, the illegitimate daughter of Nora’s aunt. When Lotte’s absent mother retrieves her from the rural convent she’d abandoned her to, Lotte goes from being an orphan to surrounded by family. Unfortunately, most of them want her dead. And soon, Nora discovers that her mother’s death wasn’t random–it was murder. And the only person she can trust to uncover the truth of what happened is a rakish young reporter who despises everything Nora and her family stand for. With everyone against her, Lotte’s last hope is hunting for the identity of her father. But the dangerous competition–and her feelings for Theo, one of the Holtzfalls’ sworn protectors–turns her world upside down. Incredible tests, impossible choices and deadly odds await both girls. But there can only be one winner.
This cover is… really not for me, so I think this one will be a Kindle read when I pick it up. I haven’t read Alwyn Hamilton’s other books, as I’ve read extremely mixed reviews, but I think the story for this one sounds like something I’d really like, so I’ll absolutely be giving this one a chance.
I didn’t realise how many of these were releasing on the 1st until I started compiling this list! I’m going to need to pick some favourites to buy first, so my TBR doesn’t grow (even more) out of control!
What are you looking forward to picking up this month? Are any of these books on your Christmas list?
— Shaunna x